What does actor Chris Evans, former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton, immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci and Apple CEO Tim Cook all have in common? They all will be headliners for next week’s virtual The Atlantic Festival as the publisher seeks to surpass 1 million viewers during the event’s four days.
And while publishers using celebrities to dress up their events is not entirely new, there is a stronger onus — in the new remote reality — on having people who make the programming itself more interesting or worth audiences’ time. As a result, there is a competition for making these programs standout from the myriad of other options being rushed to market.
Few consumer-facing virtual events are ticketed so the bulk of the revenue must come from advertising. And as events in previous years served as significant revenue drivers for publishers like The Atlantic and Time, the hot metric for virtual events is scale, as more eyeballs equals more revenue dollars.